Niklaus Largier

Job title: 
Comparative Literature
Research interests: 

After studying German literature, philosophy and Russian in Zurich and Paris, Professor Largier received his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 1989. He is the recipient of a Swiss National Research Foundation Grant (1993/96), a Fellowship in residence at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (1992/93) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2004). He joined the Berkeley faculty in 2000 and has a joint appointment with Comparative Literature.

From 2001 until 2004 Largier was the director of UC Berkeley’s Program in Medieval Studies; from 2003 until 2006 the director of the Program in Religious Studies; and from 2006 until 2013 the chair of the Department of German. He is also involved in the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, the D.E. in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and the Berkeley Center for New Media. Largier is a member of the editorial board of the journal Representations and  the book series New Trends in Medieval Philology and Deutsche Literatur von den Anfängen bis 1700.

Largier was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University (2006), the University of Konstanz (2013) and Princeton University (2016); a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (2010-11), and at the Kolleg-Forschergruppe BildEvidenz (2014). In 2015, Largier received the Anneliese Maier Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation.

Largier’s current research and teaching focuses on the history of the imagination and the emotions; and on the history of the senses and the production of sense experience from the Middle Ages to the Modern era. Niklaus Largier is an expert on mystical traditions in German literature and thought, in particular Meister Eckhart and his influence. He is working on two projects: a book on imagination, practices of figuration, and notions of possibility, tentatively entitled Figures of Possibility; and a book on the history of practices and the poetics of prayer (with David Marno).